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  • Mattis out: Defense secretary says his views no longer aligned with Trump

    December 21, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Mattis out: Defense secretary says his views no longer aligned with Trump

    By: Leo Shane III and Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday announced he will step down from that post by the end of the February, leaving a significant leadership void in President Donald Trump's Cabinet. In his resignation letter Thursday, Mattis told Trump he was making the move to allow the president to find “a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours.” Mattis, a former Marine Corps general, is regarded highly among defense experts and is a well-respected military mind among lawmakers. On numerous occasions over the last two years, both Republicans and Democrats have lauded him as a calming presence within the turbulent Trump administration and a voice of reason for the sometimes impulsive commander in chief. He's also wildly popular among troops. A Military Times poll conducted in late September found that nearly 84 percent of troops had a favorable view of his work leading the armed forces. Among officers, the figure was almost 90 percent. But Mattis' relationship with Trump had appeared to sour in recent months as the president pushed for more aggressive military policies. Read Mattis' full letter here. Pentagon officials appeared caught unaware by sudden decisions made in the Oval Office on forming a new Space Force, sending troops to the southern U.S. border, and banning transgender recruits from the ranks. This week, Mattis and other top defense officials appeared to be surprised by Trump's plans for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria. On Twitter Thursday, Trump hailed Mattis for “tremendous progress” on helping to rebuild the military, including “the purchase of new fighting equipment” and “getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations.” He said a new secretary of defense would be announced in coming days. Expect the names of Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Jack Keane, a retired Army general who was an early supporter for Trump, to pop up in discussions. In his resignation letter, Mattis said he was “proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years in ... putting the department on more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the department's business practices.” But he also took aim at several Trump policies that caused friction between the White House and the Pentagon. In the letter, Mattis wrote that he believes America “must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours.” That includes “treating allies with respect” and doing “everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values.” He also specifically mentioned both the defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations and NATO as “proof” alliances that have benefited America, The timing of the resignation — just a day after Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, reportedly over the objections of Mattis — is noteworthy, especially given Mattis' reference to the ISIS coalition in his letter. Appearing on CNN shortly after the announcement, Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller did nothing to quell the idea that Mattis quit over the Syria decision, saying it is time for Trump “to get a new secretary of defense who will be aligned with the president” on a variety of issues, specifically calling out Syria and burden sharing among NATO allies. Miller also reiterated Trump's statements that it is time for Syria and Russia to take over the fight against ISIS, while railing against the decision of America to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq. When asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if the administration intended to leave those countries as well, Miller said “I have absolutely no policy announcements of any kind to make tonight, whatsoever.” For months, speculation has swirled around whether Mattis could survive into year three of the administration, particularly after Trump labeled him as “sort of a Democrat” during an interview in October. However, he appeared to solidify his position within the administration in the days leading up to the mid-term elections, with a full-throated support for the president's decision to send troops to the border. Mattis said the February leave date is designed to ensure a new defense secretary is in place well before September's changeover of the chairman of the joint chief of staff. Just two weeks ago, Trump announced that Gen. Mark Milley, the current army chief of staff, would be his nominee to replace current chairman Gen. Joe Dunford. The announcement, coming almost 10 months before Dunford's term was over, caught many by surprise, and now sets up the military for a wholesale leadership change in 2019. It also represented another pressure point between Trump and the secretary. Both Mattis and Dunford supported the candidacy of Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force's top officer, but Trump picked Milley instead. Along with Dunford, all of the joint chiefs are in line to turn over in 2019, meaning a new secretary will also have a new group of the highest uniformed officials to work with. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/12/20/mattis-out-defense-secretary-says-his-views-no-longer-aligned-with-trump

  • DARPA Awards Six Teams During Final Spectrum Collaboration Challenge Qualifier

    December 20, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    DARPA Awards Six Teams During Final Spectrum Collaboration Challenge Qualifier

    On December 12, DARPA held the second preliminary event of the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) – the world's first collaborative machine-intelligence competition to overcome spectrum scarcity. Fifteen teams represented by members from across the academic, commercial and defense landscapes gathered at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to pit their intelligent radio designs against each other in a head-to-head competition. At the event's conclusion, six of the eight top-scoring teams walked away with $750,000 each in prize money. While not all competitors received interim prizes, all 15 teams have an opportunity to move on to the next stage and compete in the 2019 Spectrum Collaboration Challenge grand finale, which will be held in conjunction with MWC19 Los Angeles, in partnership with CTIA, on October 23, 2019. The six prize-winning teams from the second preliminary event are: Zylinium, a team of independent researchers MarmotE from Vanderbilt University Sprite from Northeastern University Erebus, a team of independent researchers Gator Wings from University of Florida SCATTER from IDLab, an imec research group at Ghent University and University of Antwerp, and Rutgers University "During the second preliminary event we witnessed a technological shift," said Paul Tilghman, the DARPA program manager leading SC2. "For the first time, we saw autonomous collaboration outperform the status quo for spectrum management." Starting in early December, each team's radio participated in 105 matches against competitors in the Colosseum, a massive RF testbed that was developed specifically for SC2. The matches were held in a round-robin fashion where each radio network – working in groups of threes, fours or fives – had multiple opportunities to compete against every other radio design in the competition. Roughly 400 matches were held in total to determine the final team rankings and the prize recipients. During the PE2 matches, teams were put through six different RF scenarios designed to mimic the challenges that collaborative, autonomous radios will face in the real world. These scenarios challenged the radios to collaboratively mitigate interfering with an incumbent radio system, sense and adapt to the spectrum demands of high-traffic environments, handle the data demands of the connected soldier of the future, and beyond. Each scenario was designed to pressure test various elements of the teams' approaches and, in particular, their ability to successfully collaborate with the other radios operating within the same environment. “The six different scenarios were closely aligned to actual situations that our defense and commercial systems face in the field. The Wildfire scenario, for example, replicates the complex communications environment that surrounds an emergency response situation, while the Alleys of Austin scenario was designed to mimic what's needed to help dismounted soldiers navigate and communicate as they sweep through an urban environment. This real-world relevance was critical for us as we want to ensure these technologies can continue to develop after the event and can transition to commercial and/or military applications,” said Tilghman. The sixth scenario of the competition was used to determine the six prize winning teams. This scenario explored the essential question of the SC2 competition: can the top teams' collaborative SC2 radios outperform the status quo of static allocation? Each of the six teams that received awards at PE2 demonstrated that their radio was capable of carrying more wireless applications without the aid of a handcrafted spectrum plan, while simultaneously ensuring four other radio networks operating in the same area had improved performance. In short, each of these six radio networks demonstrated the autonomous future of the spectrum. To aid with decision making, teams applied AI and machine learning technologies in various ways. Some leveraged the current generation of AI technologies like deep learning, while others used more conventional optimization approaches. There were also a few teams that used first wave, rule-based AI technologies. “We're very encouraged by the results we saw at PE2. The teams' radios faced new and unexpected scenarios but were still able to demonstrate smart, collaborative decision making. PE2 showed us that AI and machine learning's application to wireless spectrum management creates a very real opportunity to rethink our current century-old approach,” said Tilghman. The competition now enters its third year and moves closer to the finale, which will be held at one of the country's largest annual technology and telecommunications shows – MWC19 Los Angeles. More than 22,000 attendees from the broad mobile ecosystem and adjacent industry sectors will convene at this three-day event to discuss the current opportunities and future trends shaping the industry. The SC2 championship event will be held on the keynote stage of MWC19 Los Angeles on October 23, 2019. At the conclusion of SC2's finale, three teams will be awarded $2 million, $1 million and $750,000, respectively, for first, second and third place. The real prize, however, will be the promise of a more efficient wireless paradigm in which radio networks autonomously collaborate to determine how the spectrum should be used moment-to-moment, helping to usher in an era of spectrum abundance. For more information about DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, please visit: https://spectrumcollaborationchallenge.com/ https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-12-19

  • How DoD is getting serious about artificial intelligence

    December 20, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    How DoD is getting serious about artificial intelligence

    By: Mark Pomerleau Pentagon leaders have tapped Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan to serve as the head of a new center that will focus on the use of artificial intelligence in the Department of Defense, multiple officials confirmed to C4ISRNET. Shanahan's move to JAIC was first reported by Defense One. The appointment is part of a series of moves by the Department of Defense to get serious about the broader adoption of artificial intelligence as competitors make significant investments in the technology. Despite several efforts to use advanced algorithms and AI throughout the department, the Pentagon is creating the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) to synchronize these efforts and accelerate the delivery of AI capabilities. “Other nations, particularly China and Russia, are making significant investments in AI for military purposes,” Dana Deasy, the Defense Department's chief information officer, wrote in testimony to Congress Dec. 11. “These investments threaten to erode our technological and operational advantages and destabilize the free and open international order. The Department of Defense, together with our allies and partners, must adopt AI to maintain its strategic position, prevail on future battlefields, and safeguard this order.” Deasy, to date, has led JAIC and spearheaded the Pentagon's AI efforts. But Shanahan is expected to assume that mantle. Shanahan has been leading Project Maven, which sought to use AI and machine learning to more quickly process full motion video in the fight against ISIS. “Lt. Gen. Shanahan's appointment to run the Joint AI Center is a clear sign that DoD is taking artificial intelligence seriously,” Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, told C4ISRNET. “Shanahan has a proven track record of delivering success as head of DoD's Project Maven. The institutionalization and expansion of these early efforts into the new Joint AI Center, under Shanahan's lead, will help ensure that DoD is well-positioned to capitalize on the advantages of the AI revolution.” Deasy wrote in testimony that the department's AI approach has been directly influencing by Project Maven, which “has been successful in identifying and beginning to address key challenges with integrating AI into operations and has put in place an initial set of data, tools, and infrastructure for AI delivery, as well as initial templates for acquisition, testing and evaluation, operational assessment, and more.” The center will work to develop capabilities in the near-term while also complementing the efforts of the undersecretary for research and engineering in longer-term efforts, Deasy said. Deasy added that these efforts fall into two categories: national mission initiatives (NMI) and component mission initiatives (CMI). National initiatives are pressing operational or business reform challenges identified either from the national defense strategy's key operational problems or those identified by a specific military leader. These initiatives are completed by cross functional teams, made up of JAIC personnel and subject matter experts from across DoD on a rotational basis, Deasy said. CMIs are component level challenges, as opposed to larger national and strategic issues, that can be solved through AI. While the components will be responsible for identifying and implementing organizational structures to complete their projects, Deasy wrote that the AI center will help them identify, shape, and accelerate their AI deployments through the use of common tools, libraries, the cloud, best practices and partnerships with industry and academia. Currently, JAIC has about 35 staff members working on designing the initiatives, Rory Kinney, principal director for deputy chief information officer, information enterprise at DoD, said at an AFCEA-hosted event Dec. 4. Kinney added that the behind-the-scenes infrastructure for AI requires a software factory and equipment that allow these algorithms to learn. “There's got to be machine learning environment as well as a development environment together,” he said. “The intent is to take that secure DevOps solution set, embed it in JAIC, make it standardized within JAIC and generate that factory and that development.” Personnel in the CMIs and NMIs will be able to use the factories with the intent to standardize on it making it more interoperable and scalable, he added. As DoD moves to a production environment, this standardization will allow personnel to take that AI where they want. https://www.c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/2018/12/19/how-dod-is-getting-serious-about-artificial-intelligence

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 19, 2018

    December 20, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 19, 2018

    NAVY Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Marlborough, Massachusetts, is awarded a $114,065,820 cost-plus-fixed fee, firm-fixed-price, cost only contract for air and missile defense radar AN/SPY-6(V) integration and production support efforts. The work to be performed is the integration and production support for continued combat system integration and test, engineering, training, software and depot maintenance, and field engineering services, as well as the procurement of spare parts. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $357,827,708. Work will be performed in Marlborough, Massachusetts (64 percent); Kauai, Hawaii (18 percent); Portsmouth, Rhode Island (8 percent); San Diego, California (7 percent); Fair Lakes, Virginia (2 percent); and Moorestown, New Jersey (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2019. Fiscal 2017 and 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and fiscal 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $46,221,947 will be obligated at time of award and funding in the amount of $6,887,511 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. This contract was procured under the statutory authority of 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) - only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-5501). The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded $90,428,967 for modification P00002 to a previously awarded cost-reimbursable contract (N00019-18-C-1012). This modification provides for the performance of studies and analysis related to the MQ-25 unmanned air vehicle engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the program. The work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed in August 2024. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,000,000 will be obligated at time of award; none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland is the contracting activity. Deloitte Consulting LLP, Arlington, Virginia, is awarded an estimated value $23,041,113 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a Training Virtual Environment (TVE) that will host the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) training curriculum and deliver curriculum packages for CANES baselines. Orders issued under the contract will produce a training environment capable of being accessed from Navy electronic classrooms and provide multiple instances of cloud-based training for CANES system administrator training that will be established. The TVE will include a virtualized computing environment that fully replicates the functionality of CANES to provide realistic and testable training and scenarios. The TVE will provide a centrally located and integrated learning management system that allows for rapid curriculum updates and configuration changes. The TVE will facilitate training as well as record keeping (e.g., synchronization with current approved fleet training tracking databases) to document and track progress and training completion. Additionally, the scope of this procurement will include conducting front-end analysis; job, duty, task analysis; curriculum delivery; and training delivery, as well as conduct train-the-trainer and course events. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2017 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,800,000 will be obligated with the first task order at the time of award. Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with seven bids received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N00039-19-D-0007) . CSRA LLC, a General Dynamics Information Technology company, Stafford, Virginia, is awarded a $78,804,642 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract (N00039-17-D-0002) for Information Technology (IT) services to support the Navy's outside the U. S. (OCONUS) Naval Enterprise Network (ONE-Net). The ONE-Net contract is used to continue IT services during the transition from the ONE-Net contract to the proposed Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-compete family of contracts in support of the Naval Enterprise Networks program office. ONE-Net provides OCONUS Navy commands and claimants core IT services such as: Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network access, network connectivity and security, mobile access and desktop support. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $159,641,872. Work will be performed in Navy and Marine Corp locations in Bahrain, Greece, Guam, Italy, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, Spain and United Arab Emirates, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 18, 2020. If all options are exercised, work could continue until May 2020. Contract funds in the amount of $19,920,766 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No funds will be placed on contract or obligated at the time of award. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Arizona, is awarded a $46,471,808 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable contract (N00019-18-C-1047) that exercises an option to procure 15 full-rate production Lot 13 GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming target base vehicles, 14 for the Navy and one for the Army. The Army procured target vehicle will be used to test and evaluate the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, Limited User Test target system. Work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona (50 percent); Camden, Arkansas (37 percent); Vergennes, Vermont (6 percent); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (5 percent); Hollister, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2022. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Army) funds in the amount of $46,471,808 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the Navy ($43,378,169; 93 percent); and the. Army ($3,093,639; 7 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, is awarded $40,313,300 for a firm-fixed-price requirements contract for the repair of the Multi-Spectral Targeting system in support of the H-60 aircraft. The contract will include a two-year base period and a one-year option period which if exercised, the total value of the contract will be $58,777,194. All work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida. Work is expected to be completed by July 2020; if all options are exercised, work will be completed by July 2021. Working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $11,268,133 will be issued as a delivery order (N00383-19-F-U200) that will be awarded concurrently with the contract. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One company was solicited for this non-competitive requirement and one offer was received in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) and Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity. (N00383-19-D-U201) BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc., Greenlawn, New York, is awarded $18,623,000 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N0001919F0033 against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract (N00019-17-D-0007). This delivery order provides for the procurement of eight Mode 5 upgrade kits for the government of Canada; and 265 receiver transmitter upgrade kits (179 for the Navy, 43 for the government of Switzerland and 43 for the government of Kuwait) in support of the F/A-18 series aircraft. Work will be performed in Greenlawn, New York (85 percent); and Austin, Texas (15 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2021. Fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy); and Foreign Military Sales (FMS)funds in the amount of $18,623,000 will be obligated at time of award, $918,176 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This award combines purchases for the Navy ($11,739,536; 63 percent); the government of Switzerland ($2,820,112; 15 percent); the government of Kuwait ($2,820,112; 15 percent); and the government of Canada ($1,243,240; 7 percent) under the FMS program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded $13,999,253 for modification P00086 to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-13-C-0004) that exercises an option for the installation of one E-6B Block I/Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 3/Block IA Very Low Frequency Transmit Terminal/Nuclear Planning and Execution System kit. Additionally, this modification provides field support engineering, differences training for one aircraft, software licenses, technology refresh activities, isolation software lab support, and program management oversight in support of E-6B Block I full-rate production contract. Work will be performed in Richardson, Texas (58 percent); and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (42 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2020. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement; and fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $13,999,253 will be obligated at time of award, $300,000 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, California, is awarded $12,845,212 for cost-plus-fixed-fee modification P00004 under a previously awarded contract (N00030-18-C-0100) to exercise an option for Trident II (D5) missile production and deployed system support. The work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California (85.19 percent); Titusville, Florida (9.12 percent); Denver, Colorado (5.69 percent), and work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $12,845,212 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Boston Ship Repair LLC, Boston, Massachusetts, is awarded a $10,960,315 firm-fixed-price contract for a 60-calendar day shipyard availability for the Regular Overhaul Dry Docking (ROH / DD) of USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195). Work will include general services; laundry room deck steel replacement; jacket water pump room steel replacement; ship service diesel generator 60K overhaul; port main engine 24K service; 06 level fan room port side steel replacement, and underwater hull and freeboard preservation. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $11,995,109. Work will be performed in Boston, Massachusetts, and is expected to begin on March 4, 2019, and is expected to be completed by May 2, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,960,315 are obligated at the time of award. Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured having proposals solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received. The Navy's Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N3220519C4011). Marshall Communications Corp. ,* Ashburn, Virginia, is awarded $9,671,972 for firm-fixed-price order N0042119F0244 against a previously issued NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract (NNG15SD82B). This order provides for the customization and configuration of the Teamcenter Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system. The Teamcenter PLM system will be a common system used to manage maintenance and repair data across Fleet Readiness Centers. This order also provides for the migration of existing maintenance and repair data that resides within separate standalone systems into the Teamcenter PLM system. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (70 percent); Cherry Point, North Carolina (10 percent); Jacksonville, Florida (10 percent); North Island, California (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2019. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,671,972 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, California, is awarded a $7,582,658 firm-fixed-price contract for non-recurring engineering efforts to include specification and requirements, definition and development, qualification testing, the procurement of three full motion video test articles, verification and validation activities, test support and refurbishment of test articles in support of the H-60 Multi-Mission aircraft. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (90 percent); Norcross, Georgia (4 percent); Poway, California (3 percent); Centennial, Colorado (2 percent); and Greenville, Tennessee (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2020. Fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,582,658 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; two offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-0025). AIR FORCE Pivotal Software Inc., San Francisco, California, has been awarded a $100,116,589 fixed-base, production-other-transaction agreement for support of the Kessel Run Experimentation Lab and will utilize the prototyped methodology and the software and services that support them across the entire Air Force enterprise architectures. Work will be performed in Boston, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Washington, District of Columbia, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 18, 2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,620,123; and fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $764,500 are being obligated at the time of award. This contract is a follow-on to the successful prototype contract between Pivotal Software Inc. and the Army Contracting Command-New Jersey. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8730-19-9-0002). Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $99,254,206 undefinitized contract to procure equipment and tooling needed to increase Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile/Long Range Anti-Ship Missile production to a maximum rate where installation is required during the construction phase of the new facility. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 28, 2022. This award is the result of sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8682-19-C-0008). Switching Power Inc., Ronkonkoma, New York, has been awarded a ceiling $57,981,395 firm‐fixed‐price, single‐award, five‐year, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for Sub‐array Power Supply Energy Savings (SAPS-ES) with an option to extend the ordering period one year. This contract provides for the production of SAPS-ES units and line replacement units spares to complete a full fleet replacement of legacy units for the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System and Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System radars. Work will be performed in Ronkonkoma, New York, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2024. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $8,978,511 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the contracting activity (FA8723‐19‐D‐0002). Raytheon Co., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, has been awarded a $33,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification (P00008) to contract FA8730-17-D-0006 for the delivery of Identify Friend or Foe transponders and ancillary equipment. work will be performed in Largo, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 7, 2022. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $111,000,000. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. Aerospace Management Systems, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Mississippi, has been awarded an estimated $35,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification (P00015) to contract FA8106-17-D-0001 for contractor logistic support of the Air Force C-12 fleet. Work will be performed in Madison, Mississippi; San Angelo, Texas; Okmulgee, Oklahoma; Buenos Ares, Argentina; Gaborone, Botswana; Brasilia, Brazil; Bogota, Columbia; Cairo, Egypt; Accra, Ghana; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Budapest, Hungary; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Nairobi, Kenya, Rabat, Morocco; Manila, Philippines; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Bangkok, Thailand; Ankara, Turkey; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Holloman AFB, New Mexico; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and Yokota Air Base, Japan. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2019. The estimated cumulative face value of the contract is $70,000,000. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been awarded a $33,556,686 cost-plus-fixed-fee/firm-fixed-price contract for Technology Enabler Raptor Environment for Cloud Compute Services. This contract provides for development of cloud-based software development environment(s) within the Amazon Web Services Secret Cloud Compute Service region. Work will be performed in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Fulton, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by November 2022. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition for a task order placed against the General Service Administration. Fiscal 2018 research, development, text and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,609,682 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8611-19-F-0002). Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne, California, has been awarded a $28,713,994 competitive, firm-fixed-price, other transaction agreement for experimentation per the advanced research announcement, FA8650-17-S-9300. This agreement allows for experimentation in the areas of establishing connectivity, operational experimentation, and special purpose experimentation. Experimentation will include connectivity demonstrations to Air Force ground sites and aircraft for experimental purposes. For the proposed Phase 2, the awardee proposes to perform experiments in two other key areas: early versions of a commercial space-to-space data relay service and mobile connectivity directly from space to aircraft. Work will be performed in Hawthorne, California, and is expected to be completed by June 18, 2021. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $19,167,989 will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-19-9-9320). (Awarded Dec. 19, 2018) Sierra Nevada Corp., Centennial, Colorado, has been awarded a $23,917,275 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for the Tactical Systems Emulator (TSE) development and sustainment via sole-source direct award. This contract provides for continued development of the TSE for tactical systems operator airborne signals intelligence terminal guidance training, funds new development for direct support operator training, upgrades delivered TSE classrooms, adds a mobile TSE capability, and provides sustainment to delivered systems and software for the duration of the contract period. Work will be performed in Centennial, Colorado, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $2,826,050 are being obligated at the time of award. Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA7037-19-D- A001). Raytheon Co., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $16,666,821 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Precision Real-Time Engagement Combat Identification Sensor Exploitation (PRECISE) program. The program will primarily develop technologies that continue to advance combat ID for warfighters. PRECISE will leverage current efforts supporting the Air-to-Air Hydravision program, and is principally focused on radar-based identification of air and ground targets for airborne platforms, both tactical and reconnaissance. The effort may investigate other sensors to include electro-optical, infrared, and multi-and hyperspectral. Improvements in these areas may include technical assessments; prototype hardware and software modifications and development; systems engineering development; performance simulations; system integration; laboratory demonstrations; flight demonstrations, and participation in large demonstrations/exercises. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed March 27, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $100,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-19-C-1673). CORRECTION: The contract announced on Dec. 14, 2018, to Peraton Inc., Herndon, Virginia (FA8750-19-F-0003) for Xdomain technology through research, evolution, enhancement, maintenance, and support software and report, was actually awarded today, Dec. 19, 2018. The expected completion date is now Dec. 18, 2023. All other information in the announcement is correct. ARMY Phoenix Logistics Inc.,* Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $95,700,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement and deployment of commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, furniture, fixtures and equipment. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 18, 2023. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-19-D-0002). Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Fullerton, California, was awarded a $23,224,795 firm-fixed-price contract for signal data processor kits. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Fullerton, California, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2024. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $23,224,795 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-19-C-0021). Affigent LLC, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded an $18,233,752 modification (BA04 08) to contract W91QUZ-09-A-0001 for software maintenance. Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of May 24, 2020. Fiscal 2019 Army working capital; research, development, test and evaluation; operations and maintenance Army; and other funds in the combined amount of $18,233,752 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. ACC Construction Co. Inc., Augusta, Georgia, was awarded a $16,474,525 firm-fixed-price contract for special operations forces human performance training center. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with an estimated completion date of June 22, 2020. Fiscal 2018 military construction funds in the amount of $16,474,525 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington, North Carolina, is the contracting activity (W912PM-19-C-0007). Sig Sauer Inc., Newington, New Hampshire, was awarded a $13,400,000 firm-fixed-price contract for various Sig Sauer firearm systems. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Newington, New Hampshire, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 1, 2023. Fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $13,400,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-19-D-0011). Michael Baker International Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $12,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architectural and master planning services, and architect-engineering and general engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 18, 2023. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W912BU-19-D-0005). Critical Solutions International Inc., Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded a $10,446,373 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for technical support services to support the Product Manager Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Systems and the Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector Husky M1231. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 18, 2021. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-19-D-0037). DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY Excel Manufacturing Ltd.,** El Paso, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $72,169,200 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Army Combat Uniform trousers. This was a competitive acquisition with 14 responses received. This is a one-year contract with four one-year option periods. The maximum dollar amount is for the life of the contract, including options. Locations of performance are Texas and Puerto Rico, with a June 18, 2024, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-1120). Gexa Energy LP, Houston, Texas, has been awarded a $30,463,435 firm-fixed-price, requirements contract to supply and deliver retail electricity and ancillary/incidental services. This was a competitive acquisition with 11 offers received. This is a 24-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with a Jan. 31, 2021, performance completion date. Using customers are Air Force, Navy, Army Air Force Exchange Service , and NASA. Using customers are solely responsible to fund this requirements contract and vary in appropriation type and fiscal year. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (SPE604-19-D-8010). Reliant Energy Retail Services LLC, Houston, Texas, has been awarded a $13,351,029 firm-fixed-price, requirements contract to supply and deliver retail electricity and ancillary/incidental services. This was a competitive acquisition with 11 offers received. This is a 24-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with a Jan. 31, 2021, performance completion date. Using customers are Air Force and Texas Air National Guard. Using customers are solely responsible to fund this requirements contract and vary in appropriation type and fiscal year. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (SPE604-19-D-8009). Chevron Product Co., Houston, Texas, has been awarded an $8,038,407 indefinite-delivery, requirements contract for lubricants. This was a competitive acquisition with 12 responses received. This is a two-year contract with a 30-day carry-over period. Locations of performance are Texas, Oregon, and South Carolina, with an April 30, 2021, performance completion date. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (SPE602-19-D-0751). U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND The Boeing Co., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a maximum $48,050,000 single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract (H92241-19-D-0002) for the production of Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB) kits to upgrade the A/MH-6 in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $4,633,100 will be obligated at the time of award as a firm-fixed-price contract. Individual task orders will be funded with procurement appropriations under the appropriate fiscal year and are not multiyear. A majority of the work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by December 2026. This contract is a non-competitive award and is in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302.1. USSOCOM, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SERVICE Ernst & Young LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, is being awarded a labor-hour contract option with a maximum value of $32,961,728 for audit services of the Department of the Air Force General Fund and Working Capital Fund Financial Statements and Examination. Work will be performed in Washington, District of Columbia, with an expected completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition for which one quote was received. The contract had a 16-month base period plus three individual one-year option periods, with a maximum value of $135,006,112. This award brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $68,367,603. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance, Air Force funds in the amount of $32,961,728 are being obligated at the time of this option award. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (HQ0423-16-F-0114). *Small business ** Small disadvantaged, woman-owned business in historically underutilized business zone https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1718270/source/GovDelivery/

  • How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security

    December 20, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security

    Executive Summary The fifth generation of mobile network technologies, known as “5G,” promises greater speed, security, and capacity. 5G will underpin the internet economy and provide the backbone for the next generation of digital technologies. So, it is unsurprising that there is intense competition among companies and countries for 5G leadership. 5G will determine the direction the internet will take and where nations will face new risks and vulnerabilities. Who makes 5G technologies will affect security and innovation in an increasingly competitive technological environment. Decisions made today about 5G will affect national security and economic performance for decades to come. This is a competition among companies and groups of companies but also a competition between market-based and state-directed decisionmaking. The United States has relied on the former, China on the latter, and Europe falls somewhere in between. American technology remains essential for 5G mobile telecommunications. American companies have been strong performers in developing 5G technologies, but the United States and its allies face a fundamental challenge from China. The focus of competition is over 5G's intellectual property, standards, and patents. Huawei, for example, has research programs to develop alternatives to American suppliers, and U.S. trade restrictions have accelerated China's efforts to develop its own 5G industry. While American companies lead in making essential 5G technologies, there are no longer any U.S. manufacturers of core telecommunications network equipment. Four companies dominate the market for the core network technologies needed for 5G networks. None of these companies are American. 1The choices are between European security partners (Ericsson and Nokia) and China (Huawei and ZTE). Telecom is a strategic industry and having two companies with close ties to a hostile power creates risk for the United States and its allies. A secure supply chain for 5G closes off dangerous areas of risk for national security in terms of espionage and the potential disruption to critical infrastructures. China's aggressive global campaign of cyber espionage makes it certain that it will exploit the opportunities it gains as a 5G supplier. One way to envision this is to imagine that the person who built your house decides to burgle it. They know the layout, the power system, the access points, may have kept a key, and perhaps even built in a way to gain surreptitious entry. Major telecom “backbone” equipment connects to the manufacturer over a dedicated channel, reporting back on equipment status and receiving updates and software patches as needed, usually without the operator's knowledge. Equipment could be sold and installed in perfectly secure condition, and a month later, the manufacture could send a software update to create vulnerabilities or disrupt service. The operator and its customers would have no knowledge of this change. The United States can manage 5G risk using two sets of policies. The first is to ensure that American companies can continue to innovate and produce advanced technologies and face fair competition overseas. American and “like-minded” companies routinely outspend their Chinese competitors in 5G R&D and hold 10 times as many 5G patents. Chinese companies still depend on the western companies for the most advanced 5G components. The second is to work with like-minded nations to develop a common approach to 5G security. The United States cannot meet the 5G challenge on its own. When the United States successfully challenged Chinese industrial policy in the past, it has been done in concert with allies. Another task will be to find ways to encourage undecided countries to spend on 5G security. Huawei's telecom networks cost between 20 to 30 percent less than competing products. Huawei also offers foreign customers generous terms for leasing or loans. It can do this because of its access to government funds. Beijing supports Huawei for both strategic and commercial reasons. Many countries will be tempted by the steep discount. Not buying Huawei means paying a “premium” for security to which economic ministries are likely to object. The United States will need to encourage others to pay this security premium while at the same time preparing for a world where the United States unavoidably connects to Huawei-supplied networks and determine how to securely connect and communicate over telecom networks in countries using Chinese network equipment. The United States does not need to copy China's government-centric model for 5G, but it does need to invest in research and adopt a comprehensive approach to combatting non-tariff barriers to trade. 5G leadership requires a broader technology competition policy in the United States that builds the engineering and tech workforce and supports both private and public R&D. The United States also needs to ensure that U.S. companies do not face obstacles from antitrust or patent infringement investigations undertaken by other countries to obtain competitive advantage. In the twentieth century, steel, coal, automobiles, aircraft, ships, and the ability to produce things in mass quantity were the sources of national power. The foundations of security and power are different today. The ability to create and use new technologies is the source of economic strength and military security. Technology, and the capacity to create new technologies, are the basis of information age power. 5G as the cornerstone of a new digital environment is the focal point for the new competition, where the United States is well-positioned to lead but neither success nor security are guaranteed without action. This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report. https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-5g-will-shape-innovation-and-security

  • NATO Members Drive Fastest Increase in Global Defence Spending for a Decade, Jane’s by IHS Markit Reveals

    December 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    NATO Members Drive Fastest Increase in Global Defence Spending for a Decade, Jane’s by IHS Markit Reveals

    Spending rose by nearly 5 percent in 2018 to reach USD1.78 trillion, driven by budget increases in North America and Europe December 18, 2018 03:00 AM Eastern Standard Time LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global defence expenditure grew by 4.9 percent in 2018, the fastest growth rate since 2008, according to the annual Jane's Defence Budget report, released today by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO). Global defence spending grew for the fifth consecutive year to reach a total of USD1.78 trillion in 2018, significantly exceeding the post-Cold War record of USD1.69 trillion in 2010, according to the report. Fueling this global growth was a 5.8 percent boost to NATO spending, which totaled USD54 billion, largely due to higher defence spending in the US. Jane's by IHS Markit forecasts that overall NATO defence expenditure will exceed USD1 trillion in 2019. “Following a challenging period for NATO members in the wake of the global financial crisis, countries have begun to increase defence spending again, in response to emerging threats,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst, Jane's by IHS Markit. “This has slowed the rebalance in defence expenditure toward emerging markets.” Jane's by IHS Markit projects that global defence spending growth will moderate to a level of around 2 percent per year over the next five years as budget increases in Europe and North America slow and emerging markets again become the key source of growth. “In 2018, we've seen a reversal of recent trends with Western states driving growth,” said Craig Caffrey, principal analyst at Jane's by IHS Markit. “Going forward we still see Asia and the Middle East as the key sources of sustainable increases in defence spending.” NATO members increase spending In 2010, NATO member spending accounted for two thirds of global defence expenditure. As emerging markets expanded and developed economies implemented cuts over the decade, the balance of global defence expenditure shifted dramatically. The NATO share of expenditure steadily declined to just 55 percent in 2017 with non-NATO spending on track to surpass NATO expenditure by the early-2020s. “As 24 of the 29 NATO members increased their defence budget in 2018, the decline in the NATO share of global spending has stalled,” McGerty said. “The recommitment to defence in Western states means the global balance of expenditure between NATO and non-NATO markets is now more likely to shift from the mid-2020s.” Nine NATO members will reach the 2 percent of GDP benchmark for defence expenditure in 2019 – compared to just four members in 2014. These countries are the US, Greece, Estonia, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Poland, France, Latvia and Romania. US continues to invest in modernisation US defence spending increased by USD46 billion in 2018 to reach USD702.5 billion as the Pentagon sought to improve military readiness and bolster missile defence capabilities. The 7 percent boost to the Pentagon's budget represents the largest increase in US defence spending since 2008. “Modernisation accounts will reach USD244.1 billion in FY19 – the highest level of investment funding since the period FY07-10, which experienced the maximum Overseas Contingency Operations and maximum US Department of Defense (US DoD) spending levels,” said Guy Eastman, senior analyst at Jane's. “The funding levels for FY18 and FY19 have enabled the US DoD to start on the road to improved readiness and acquire improved warfighting capabilities.” Eastern European budgets continue to expand, while Germany's 11 percent spending boost will bolster Western Europe's total Six of the ten fastest growing defence budgets in the world in 2018 were situated in Eastern Europe. Defence spending in the region grew by almost 9 percent in 2018 with Poland, Romania and the Ukraine driving increases. Notably, spending on military equipment has more than doubled in the region since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Western European defence spending increased for the third consecutive year in 2018 to reach USD248 billion – 2.4 percent higher than 2017. In 2019, regional spending should exceed pre-financial crisis levels as growth accelerates to 3.6 percent driven by a major 11 percent increase in the German defence budget. “As fiscal balances have improved, countries are able to respond to a markedly poorer security environment and address the capability gaps that have emerged,” McGerty said. “European defence cooperation is also a driving factor as countries look to bolster domestic capabilities but also partner on new technologies, all of which requires greater investment.” While the outlook for defence spending growth in Europe appears on an upward trend, this hinges on a stable UK defence budget and therefore upon the outcome of Brexit negotiations and the impact on the UK economy. Strong economic conditions in Asia-Pacific drive accelerated growth Growth in Asia-Pacific accelerated to 3.6 percent in 2018 but remains below the average 4.8 percent rate seen over the past decade. Total regional spending reached a record high of USD465 billion in 2018. Despite security concerns, economic growth continues to be the primary driver of defence budget growth in Asia. “Strategic drivers are undoubtedly becoming more important, but trends continue to be dictated by economic and fiscal conditions. Strong underlying economic fundamentals mean that Asia is where we expect the majority of the sustainable long-term growth will come from,” Caffrey said. “From a budgetary perspective, we're still seeing very few indicators that an arms race is underway in Asia.” Saudi surpasses France as fifth largest defence spender Higher oil prices over the course of 2018 contributed to an uptick in growth in the Middle East and North Africa with total spending in the region reaching USD180 billion. Saudi Arabia increased its defence outlay by 7 percent to hit USD56 billion, making the Kingdom the fifth largest spender on defence globally. “The large increase in Saudi Arabia's defence budget drove trends in MENA,” Caffrey said. “With oil prices falling again in the latter part of the year, regional growth is likely to remain relatively conservative in the short term.” Brazil dominates defence spending in Latin America Latin America's defence spending grew by 10.4 percent in 2018, reaching a new high of almost USD62 billion. Brazil's allocation of USD29.9 billion accounted for 48.3 percent of this total. “The recovery in Latin American defence budgets continued this year, but aside from Venezuela, where hyperinflation necessitated massive spending supplements, growth was markedly slower than in 2017,” said Andrew MacDonald, senior analyst at Jane's by IHS Markit. Top 20 defence budgets - 2017 and 2018 (USD billion) Position Country 2017* Position Country 2018* 1 USA 656.7 1 USA 702.5 2 China 191.2 2 China 207.6 3 India 61.2 3 India 62.1 4 UK 57.0 4 UK 58.4 5 France 52.5 5 Saudi Arabia 56.0 6 Saudi Arabia 52.1 6 France 53.6 7 Russia 50.9 7 Russia 51.6 8 Japan 48.3 8 Japan 45.1 9 Germany 43.5 9 Germany 44.5 10 South Korea 38.0 10 South Korea 39.1 11 Australia 32.1 11 Australia 32.0 12 Brazil 28.9 12 Brazil 29.9 13 Italy 26.7 13 Italy 27.2 14 UAE 19.3 14 UAE 21.4 15 Canada 16.5 15 Iran 17.4 16 Israel 16.4 16 Canada 16.1 17 Iran 16.2 17 Israel 16.0 18 Taiwan 14.6 18 Spain 15.3 19 Spain 14.4 19 Taiwan 14.5 20 Pakistan 12.0 20 Turkey 13.0 *Figures in constant 2018 USD billions. The intelligence cutoff for this report is 13 December 2018. About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com) IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world's leading financial institutions. IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2018 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved. About the Jane's Annual Defence Budgets Report The Jane's Defence Budgets team produces the annual Jane's Defence Budgets Report every December. The report examines and forecasts defence expenditure for 105 countries and captures 99 percent of global defence spending. The Jane's Annual Defence Budgets Report is the world's most comprehensive, forward-looking study of government's defence budgets. Tracking 99 percent of the global defence expenditure from 105 of the world's largest defence budgets, data is compiled from Jane's Defence Budgets online solution platform. It includes five-year forecasts, historical data, budget charting, trend evaluation and in-depth analysis by country. In this study, values are based on constant 2018 US dollars. Contacts Freya Lewis IHS Markit +44 203 159 3255 freya.lewis@ihsmarkit.com Press Team +1 303 858 6417 press@ihsmarkit.com https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181218005033/en/NATO-Members-Drive-Fastest-Increase-Global-Defence

  • Marines look for IBM Watson-like artificial intelligence to plan large-scale wargames

    December 19, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Marines look for IBM Watson-like artificial intelligence to plan large-scale wargames

    By: Todd South The Marines are looking to big data analysis and potentially an IBM Watson-like machine or software to help conduct complex wargaming and plan for future battles in an immersive environment. The Corps' Program Manager for Wargaming Capability, Col. Ross Monta, told Marine Corps Times that a recent program announcement seeks to “bring advanced analytics, visualization, models and simulation together to create an environment that enables senior leaders” to make a host of decisions. Those range from capabilities for the future force and ways to test operational plans, develop concepts of operations and help provide information to prioritize resources. The announcement is the service's second round of information gathering in four technology areas that include modeling and simulation, wargame design, data services and visualization. The Marines are reviewing white papers submitted from industry in January, February, March and July. They're aiming to have testing begin as early as October. At the 2017 Modern Day Marine Military Expo, then-Lt. Col. Monta spoke on how the Corps was developing a three- to five-year plan for a wargaming center at Marine Corps Base Quantico that would allow planners to conduct 20 wargames a year, including two large-scale, 250-participant exercises. The simulation they sought at the time would provide, “accurate representation of future operating environments, simulate friendly and enemy capabilities” and perform “rapid, in-depth analysis of game-derived data or insights.” The then-head of Marine Corps Systems Command, Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, said that wargaming had to get beyond “moving yellow stickies on a map.” At that time the center was capable of conducting about 11 wargame scenarios a year, Monta said. They were looking at partnering advanced simulation capabilities, such as the one they're seeking in the fbo.gov posting, with flesh and blood experts from the Ellis Group think tank to better see high-order, long-term warfighting needs. The head of training systems command, Col. Walt Yates, told Marine Corps Times that the aim was to have ways of using artificial intelligence to run simulations as many as 1,000 times. With those numbers, planners can learn probabilities of victory, casualty expectations and the logistics required to accomplish the mission. Simulation capabilities would allow commanders to run scenarios against future threats to gauge what equipment and tactics are most needed to succeed. These factors would inform planning for everything from buying the next piece of combat gear to how best to deploy forces, Yates said. The big data analysis is just one of a list of items the Corps has been working in recent years to push their wargaming from squad to Marine Expeditionary Force-level, leveraging advances in computing, data analytics, virtual reality, augmented reality and gaming. Beginning this past year, Marines at each of the Corps 24 infantry battalions began fielding Tactical Decision Kits, a combination of laptop, VR goggles and drones that allow small unit leaders to map battle spaces and then run operations plans in VR to rehearse missions. Earlier this year, MARCORSYSCOM officials sought industry input on pushing weapons simulations for live training, force-on-force shooting past the decades old laser technology still in use today. They want shooting systems that more realistically replicate how bullets and other projectiles move and the types of damage they cause. The system that would be able to simulate all weapons and vehicles typically seen in a battalion, which would include at least: M4/M16; M9 or sidearm, the M27 Infantry Automatic Weapon; hand grenades; rocket propelled grenades; Light Anti-Tank Weapon; 60mm mortars; 81mm mortars; Claymore antipersonnel mine; Mk-19 grenade launcher; Russian machine gun; AK-47 variants; M41 TOW; Javelin missile and the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle. It would also allow for immediate after-action review so that trainers and commanders could see where their Marines were aiming, when and how much they fired to strike a target and what damage their opponents caused. https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2018/12/18/marines-look-for-ibm-watson-like-artificial-intelligence-to-plan-large-scale-wargames

  • CENTCOM chief: The future of warfare demands more cyber authorities

    December 19, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    CENTCOM chief: The future of warfare demands more cyber authorities

    By: Justin Lynch The Pentagon has received more power to conduct cyber operations in the past 18 months. But for the top Army commander in the Middle East and Central Asia, the new authority is not enough. The head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, wrote in a Dec. 18 paper that the Pentagon must “normalize” electronic warfare and cyberattacks and incorporate them into daily operations. “Normalizing the cyberspace domain means broader authorities that are more responsive than current bureaucratic processes,” Votel wrote in the Army's Cyber Defense Review. “It also means we need simple and streamlined organizations and processes to increase lethality and enhance performance.” The paper was coauthored by Votel, Maj. Gen. Julazadeh and Maj. Weilun Lin. “Our failure to operationalize and normalize the cyberspace domain effectively cedes it to our adversaries, gives them a competitive advantage and, ultimately, creates an increased attack vector against our objectives,” the authors said. President Trump gave the Pentagon new authorities to conduct cyber operations in August and minimized the process where other agencies can object to cyberattacks, known as “deconfliction.” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis can conduct hacking operations without approval from the White House so long as they do not interfere with the American “national interest,” according to four current and former White House and intelligence officials who were either part of internal deliberations or briefed on the changes. Yet some current and former U.S. officials are skeptical that the new authorities will mean more effective hacking operations for the Pentagon, because it does not solve the nuances of cyberattacks. But the new mandates do not go far enough for the three officer authors, who argued that cyberwarfare should be under the same authorities as other types of operations. “We must not see cyberspace as drastically different and separate from other domains that we create new processes to prepare, plan and fight in this new domain. We continue to seek processes that smooth and simplify operations, reducing friendly friction and accelerating decision-making.” Current and former Pentagon officials have pointed to conducting cyberattacks against enemies that use networks of neutral or partner nations as an area where the Pentagon has changed its decision-making process in recent years. Those officials also pointed to how the Pentagon was able to use hybrid warfare tactics during the 2016 liberation of Mosul, Iraq, as a textbook example of future hybrid operations. Votel, Julazadeh and Lin echoed the sentiment of other Pentagon officials who have advocated for cyberattacks, electronic warfare and other information operations to be integrated earlier in military operations. “We need to proactively execute cyberspace and information operations early in 'Phase 0 / steady state' of the planning process — well before operation execution. Only then can we shape the [information environment], hold our adversaries' capabilities at risk and execute at the speed of war,” the three wrote. For example, Pentagon officials say they closely monitored Russia's 2014 hybrid war in Ukraine and learned from Moscow's tactics. Votel, Julazadeh and Lin shed light on the changes, writing that information operations were previously “integrated as an afterthought.” Yet over the last two years, Central Command has incorporated cyberattacks, electronic warfare and military deception at the “strategic level.” And this hybrid warfare has driven new acquisition demands in the Pentagon. “We need technology and capabilities to keep pace with the operational environment and continue to build the partnerships to do so,” the three officers wrote. In recent years, Central Command has bolstered its hybrid warfare through new contracts. The centerpiece of that effort is a July 2017 contract worth $621 million to Science Applications International Corporation for IT support to Central Command that could last seven years. In August 2018, Vistra communications was also awarded a $22 million contract to support offensive and defensive cyber operations for Central Command. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2018/12/18/centcom-chief-the-future-of-warfare-demands-more-cyber-authorities

  • DoD IG: Military networks are exposed to ‘unnecessary’ cyber risks

    December 19, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    DoD IG: Military networks are exposed to ‘unnecessary’ cyber risks

    By: Mark Pomerleau The military services are exposing networks to “unnecessary cybersecurity risks” thanks in part to a lack of visibility over software application inventories, according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report. The IG investigated whether DoD components rationalized their software applications by identifying and eliminating any duplicative or obsolete applications. Rationalizing software applications seeks to improve enterprise IT by identifying all software applications on the network; determining if existing applications are needed, duplicative or obsolete; and determining if applications already existing within the network prior to purchasing new ones. The audit — which focused on Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force commands and divisions — found that the groups examined did not consistently perform this rationalization process. By not having visibility into software application inventories, these organizations were unable to identify the extent of existing vulnerabilities within their applications, the report found. Moreover, such a process could lead to cost savings associated with eliminating duplicative and obsolete applications. Fleet Forces Command was the only command the IG reviewed that had a process in place for eliminating duplicative or obsolete applications. The Air Force did not have a process in place to prevent duplication when purchasing new applications. The report placed blame on the DoD chief information officer for not implementing a solution for software rationalization in response to Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act requirements. The IG made three recommendations for the CIO, who did not provide a response to draft recommendations: Develop an enterprisewide process for conduction software application rationalization throughout DoD; Establish guidance requiring DoD components to conduct rationalization and require DoD component CIOs to develop implementation guidance outlining responsibilities for rationalization. Such a policy should also require components on at least an annual basis to validate the accuracy of their owned and in use software applications inventory; and Conduct periodic review to ensure components are regularly validating the accuracy of their inventory and they are eliminating duplicative and obsolete applications. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2018/12/18/dod-ig-military-networks-are-exposed-to-unnecessary-cyber-risks

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